President Edgar Lungu has said that the Continental Free Trade Area-CFTA- will only succeed if African countries enhance infrastructure development and regional trade.
President Lungu also said that the African Union and all economic blocks on the continent need to ensure equality so that CFTA benefits member countries.
The President said this during a World Economic forum panel discussion on fast tracking economic unification in Durban, South Africa.
President Lungu warned that some member counties like Zambia may consider a “brexit” approach if the benefits of the CFTA are not shared equally.
He however noted that the CFTA will make Africa an attractive investment destination and that countries should at all cost embrace the CFTA.
President Lungu also advised African countries to be a part of the CFTA because at the moment most countries have nothing to protect.
And Singapore deputy Prime Ministers Tharman Shanumgaratnam advised African leaders to be disciplined in executing their development plans.
He said it important to take one step after another by learning and adapting for growth.
The chairman of the African Export and Import bank Benedick Oramah announced that the bank has a 5 billion dollar facility aimed at supporting African companies with finance.
He said the finance will be made available to companies such As Dangote group and Export Trade Group which will in turn support SME’s .
Mr. Oramah said the bank will also be launching a plate form aimed at facilitating trade among SME on the continent using technology.
He said this should help to boost Intra African trade which has remained very low compared to trade with countries out of the continent.
The CFTA is an initiative by the African Union to integrate all the economic blocks on the continent into an economic union similar to the European Union.